Madame Wu’s – Brisbane.

Madame Wu’s is a fabulous contemporary Asian fusion restaurant at the Eagle St Pier along Brisbane’s waterfront. The al fresco dining area has fantastic views of Story Bridge, the food great value as well as delicious!

Brisbane has really grown up since I was last there. It’s looking great and has a fantastic restaurant scene. I wish I cold have stayed longer! When we visited Madame Wu’s we settled on the lunch banquet menu at $50 per person although we added a few dishes we really wanted to try.

So who is Madame Wu? This question becomes part of our lunchtime conversation and we discover that the restaurants namesake must be none other than Sylvia Wu, a famed Chinese-American restauranteur. Sylvia opened her first restaurant, Madame Wu’s Garden on Wiltshire Boulevard in Los Angeles in 1959 serving authentic Chines cuisine. Often seen greeting diners at the door in floor-length silk dresses, the restaurant became a favourite amongst the Hollywood stars of the time such as Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Paul Newman and Jane Fonda. Madame Wu lived a long life only recently passing away in September 2022 at age 106!

We are a table of four, but for a romantic lunch the tables of two overlooking the river have magnificent views!

Tang sui chicken ribs

The first dish bought out is the Tang sui chicken ribs. They are in fact wing pieces. Perfectly crunchy with a little heat and we all enjoy them.

Wagyu dumpling, Jerusalem artichoke puree, curry leaf oil.

The Wagyu dumplings are presented beautifully, reminiscent of a Christmas pudding as it is the Holiday Season. However, they had quite an interesting flavour. The Jerusalem artichoke puree was more like a foam. While the dumplings were pleasant, they weren’t a real hit for us.

Steamed scallop dumplings, xo butter, lime (add. $7 pp)

I had spied another table order the steamed scallop dumplings, xo butter and lime and we all wanted to try them. They were not part of the banquet menu but could be bought as an addition. While the scallop was plump, I was slightly disappointed with the flavours. I expected a pronounced citrusy taste, instead the xo butter tasted like a Bolognese!

Steamed duck buns

When it came to the perfectly rounded steamed duck buns, half of our quartet were fans, the other half weren’t that fussed over them. Personally, I liked them although I did agree that the duck was a little dry however, isn’t duck pretty much always dry?


What wasn’t dry was the weather, suddenly it started pouring rain and we were getting wet! I politely asked if we could move inside and were quickly accommodated. As soon as we sat down at our new table the mains started arriving.

Three cup chicken with Thai basil

Three cup chicken with Thai Basil was first up. Presented beautifully, this was a standout dish for us. We all loved it!

Wu’s special fried rice (add. $5pp)

Our second favourite dish was the Wu’s special fried rice with a flavour depth of smokiness and generous pieces of lap cheong Chinese sausage. This was an additional dish to the banquet menu and we were all glad we had ordered it.

Steamed market greens with house made oyster sauce.

While nice as a side, the steamed market greens were fine but we hardly touched them… there was too many other dishes we loved!

Pork hock with kimchi & pear salad

The favourite dish for me however, was the Pork hock with kimchi & pear salad. The meat was lusciously tender and the kimchi & pear salad had a sweet but spicy bite to it.

House made chilli sauce

Why am I showing you a bowl of chilli sauce? My friend Michelles loves chilli sauce and she asked for some for the table. Sadly there was a little bit of a wait which we found strange but we discovered the chef had to make a new batch as its made in house. It was worth the wait, it was beautiful! When we commented on how lovely it was the waitress advised that it is made with green apple, pear and whole chilli’s! All of a sudden I could taste the apple – how strange! I wonder if that was a secret recipe of Madame Wu?

Have you heard of chilli sauce made with apples or pears?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. It sounds like some dishes were great but perhaps the dumplings need a bit of reworking. The Jerusalem artichoke ones look very different from any that I’ve ever seen before! I’ve seen sauces and dishes made using apples and pears at Korean restaurants-it’s very tasty!

  2. Sherry says:

    that’s interesting. chilli sauce made with apples! intriguing. a great view of the Story Bridge there.

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